In January this year, both sale of savings certificates and the government's net debt increased about 35.37% compared to the previous month.
Customers bought savings certificates worth Tk9,966 crore in January, which was Tk7,362 crore in December 2021.
In the wake of the new profit rate set in August last year, the sale of savings certificates and the amount of net debt of the government decreased for three consecutive months.
The government repaid more loans than the sales of savings certificates in December last year, paying an extra Tk436 crore.
As a result, after one month, the government's net debt rose to Tk2,586 crore, which was about seven times more than the previous month.
Industry insiders said that after the new profit rate on savings certificates was fixed in August last year, the sale of savings certificates and net debt had declined since October. In the new year, the FDR period of many people has expired. The customers have used that money to buy new savings certificates which ultimately increased its sale.
In August of the current financial year, the government's net debt in savings certificates was Tk3,628 crore. One month later, in September, the net debt stood at Tk2,825 crore, while in October, it stood at Tk766 crore. The trend continued even in November when net debt stood at Tk701 crore.
In December, without taking any net debt, the government repaid more than Tk436 crore. However, in the new year, the scenario changed totally as the net debt increased to Tk2,500 crore in a month.
Policy Research Institute Executive Director Ahsan H Mansur said, "The government can borrow from the banking system at a lower interest rate. The interest rate on savings certificates is high. In the last few months, the government has reduced the loan rate in this sector, which is a good thing. I think the government should not increase the amount of debt from this sector."
He added that the government has taken some new initiatives. It has reduced the interest rate on investment in this sector. Earlier, many people used to buy savings certificates in other people's names. Now, the person would be fined or jailed if it is proved in any way. This is also a good aspect.
The government aims to borrow Tk32,000 crore from savings certificates in the current financial year to meet the budget deficit. As such, the government has borrowed 37% of the target during the first seven months of the fiscal year.
According to the available information, during the 2020-21 fiscal year, the government's net debt from savings certificates was Tk41,959.54 crore. In the original budget of that financial year, the government's target to borrow from savings certificates was Tk20,000 crore. However, as the debt from this sector continued to increase, the target was increased to Tk30,302 crore in the supplementary budget of that financial year. But, at the end of the financial year, the government borrowed more than the target.
Although the amount of government loans from the banking sector was much less than the target in the last fiscal year 2020-21, the government borrowed Tk33,379 crore in the first six months of the current financial year.